UK

Government urged to scrap Energy Performance Certificate after expert slams rating system

EXCLUSIVE: Government is urged to scrap the Energy Performance Certificate after homes expert claims the well-known rating system ‘greenwashes’ properties and ‘deludes consumers’

  • Economist Bob Pannell insists government should drop energy rating system 
  • A-G EPC rating measures property’s efficiency on insulation and glazed windows
  • But Mr Pannell points out it makes no measure of a building’s carbon impact   
  • Comes as Insulate Britain eco-mob demand Government-backing for insulation 


A new report into the UK’s draughty homes calls on the government to scrap its energy ratings system – branding it a pointless ‘green herring.’

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings are under the microscope like never before as climate activists bring rush-hour chaos to the road network demanding the Government improve the insulation of 29 million homes – most of which are currently rated D or lower.

But in a white paper entitled ‘The race to Net Zero Carbon’, housing economist Bob Pannell insists people are ‘deluded’ if they think an A or B rated home represents a better deal for the environment.

Mr Pannell – former Chief Economist at the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) – argues: ‘The Government’s EPC targets seem too narrow, as they fail to take into account the full carbon impact of designing, building and operating a property.

‘In some instances, they may amount to so-called ‘greenwashing’ with consumers effectively being deluded into thinking their ‘energy efficient’ home represents a better outcome for the environment.’

Economist Bob Pannell insists homeowners are ‘deluded’ if they think Energy Performance Certificate ratings represent a fair evaluation of a house’s environmental impact

EPCs measure the efficiency of a property based on how well it is insulated and glazed.

The rating system goes from A to G, with A being the greenest and G being the worst. 

It provides tenants and homeowners with a guide to how much the bills could be on a property.

But EPCs make no attempt to measure the carbon impact made during the home’s construction, leading the report’s author to question their relevance.

The findings come as the Government prepares to publish its long-awaited Heat & Buildings Strategy, which will set out the role homeowners must play in Britain’s road to net zero carbon emissions.

It comes as Insulate Britain climate anarchists brought rush-hour chaos to the road network demanding the Government improve the insulation of 29 million homes - most of which are currently rated D or lower

It comes as Insulate Britain climate anarchists brought rush-hour chaos to the road network demanding the Government improve the insulation of 29 million homes – most of which are currently rated D or lower 

Joshua Smith brags about being arrested four times for 'mourning for life on Earth'

He also appeared during a demonstration last week

Joshua Smith bragged about being arrested four times for ‘mourning for life on Earth’ (left on September 22 and right on September 20) 

The Strategy is expected to contain a series of efficiency targets for new homes based around the Government’s measure of choice, the EPCs.

But today’s report urges Boris Johnson to place greater focus on the construction process itself.

‘Progress towards net zero is currently being hampered by the absence of a national standard for the construction industry in calculating and mitigating carbon emissions,’ the report finds.

‘The UK must either replace or implement far-reaching reforms to the current EPC system if it is to effectively eliminate carbon emissions from our homes and meet its legal commitment to reach Net Zero Carbon by 2050.

‘In the absence of a system which incorporates measures of both embodied and operational carbon, the current system of EPCs amounts to something of a ‘green herring’ with well-meaning buyers of new-build homes being bamboozled by a measure that’s of only limited value when it comes to representing a home’s green credentials.’

Leading development lender Atelier, who commissioned Mr Pannell’s report, today called for an urgent rethink.

Atelier Founder Chris Gardner said: ‘Too many young families have bought A or B-rated new build homes thinking they were doing their bit for the environment.

‘Sadly, few realise how irrelevant this EPC metric has become. If the Government’s Heat & Buildings Strategy is to have any credibility it will need to put these EPCs under the microscope and determine if they are still fit for purpose in their current form.

‘My own view is that there is now an urgent need for us to dig deeper and introduce a system that tracks a wider variety of metrics, helping both the property industry and homebuyers to make more informed choices and understand better how homes impact climate change.’

Development lender Atelier's founder Chris Gardner called for an 'urgent rethink'

Development lender Atelier’s founder Chris Gardner called for an ‘urgent rethink’

Meanwhile motorists are bracing themselves for more misery in the weeks ahead.

Activists from Insulate Britain, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, are promising more rush-hour chaos, saying protests will continue until the Government makes a ‘commitment to insulate all of Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030.’

So far police have made more than 200 arrests. 

On Wednesday, the High Court granted an injunction that makes taking part in similar protests a criminal offence, but despite the threat of jail many protesters have vowed to fight on.

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